Paramount+ kept hiking up the streaming mountain in the second quarter as some rivals have stumbled.
In announcing Q2 earnings, Paramount Global said its flagship Paramount+ service now has more than 43 million paid customers, a net add of 4.9 million for the June quarter.
The company’s other streaming services, however, declined in aggregate — partly due to Paramount’s shutting down business in Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine. Total streaming subscribers globally reached nearly 64 million in the second quarter, a gain of less than 2 million. Paramount does not break out the number of subscribers for Showtime or its other direct-to-consumer services, which include BET+ and Noggin.
The total streaming figure included the removal of 3.9 million Russia subscribers. The Q2 Paramount+ sub number included a loss of 1.2 million accounts in the country.
The pickup for Paramount+ comes as growth for other streamers has been flat or down. Netflix shed nearly 1 million subs in Q2 (though that was fewer than expected), while paid customers for NBCUniversal’s Peacock was flat for the period at 13 million and Peacock’s overall active accounts dropped by 1 million. Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns HBO Max and Discovery+, reports Q2 earnings Thursday after market close, and Disney is set to release results Aug. 10.
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Paramount+ took streaming market share in Q2, CEO Bob Bakish said in prepared remarks. “Our deep and growing library of valuable IP, coupled with the strength of our best-in-class assets, ensures we are well-positioned to continue to maximize value for our shareholders,” he said.
In Q2, Pluto TV — Paramount’s free, ad-supported streaming service — continued its healthy ramp. Pluto TV counted nearly 70 million monthly active users in the quarter, up from 67.5 million in Q1.
Amid the fiercely competitive streaming wars, Paramount has assumed an aggressive posture. In February, the company (formerly known as ViacomCBS) raised its global streaming subscriber target for 2024 from from 65 million-75 million subs to more than 100 million. At the same time, it plans to boost spending on streaming content to more than $6 billion by 2024, versus $4 billion previously — fueling investor concerns over rising costs that will eat into profitability.
Paramount+ is stocked with entertainment, live sports and news from the company’s networks including CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV. The lineup includes original series like Taylor Sheridan’s “1883,” “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and “Halo,” unscripted shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars”; and movies like “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” “PAW Patrol: The Movie,” “A Quiet Place Part II” and “The Lost City.” The service is available in two flavors: The ad-supported Essential Plan ($4.99 monthly) and the ad-free Premium Plan ($9.99 monthly).
Pictured above: Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”
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